WTA TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Cup – Day 3 – 2nd Round Match Previews/Predictions

(1) Caroline Wozniacki vs Karin Knapp

Caroline Wozniacki kicked off her quest for her first title of 2014 with a comprehensive 6-0 6-0 drubbing of Belinda Bencic in just 44 minutes. The Dane’s serve was as potent as ever, she fired down 9 aces and won 78 percent of points on her first serve. Karin Knapp also easily accounted for her first round opponent, defeating local wild card Ipek Soylu 6-2 6-2.

In their only previous encounter which took place in New Haven last year, Carline Wozniacki defeated Karin Knapp 6-1 7-5. We should see a similar result when the two meet on Wednesday night in Istanbul. Wozniacki is clearly determined to do well in Istanbul and was in ominous form on Tuesday. I don't think Knapp has the game to hit past the consistent Dane.

Prediction: Caroline Wozniacki to defeat Karin Knapp in straight sets

(3) Klara Koukalova vs Kristina Mladenovic

Klara Koukalova and Kristina Mladenovic will do battle on Wednesday for a spot in the quarter-finals in Istanbul. Klara Koukalova survived a stern test from youngster Dona Vekic in the opening round, taking the third set 6-4. Whilst Kristina Mladenovic had a comprehensive 6-4 6-2 victory over Mayr-Achleitner in her opening round match.

This will be the first time these two will come up against each other, it promises to be an interesting clash. Mladenovic has had a pretty disappointing season when considering what she is capable of. Klara has had a typically average season; her best result came in Florianopolis where she claimed her only title of the season thus far.

It is hard to pick a winner in this match but I think Mladenovic will prove too powerful for Klara on this occasion.

Prediction: Kristina Mladenovic to defeat Klara Koukalova in three sets

Other match Predictions:

(7) Bojana Jovanovski to defeat Francesca Schiavone in three sets

(4) Elina Svitolina to defeat Stefanie Voegele in straight sets

2014 WTA BRD Bucharest Open Preview

After a very enjoyable couple of weeks in London that saw Petra Kvitova emerge victorious to capture her second Grand Slam title there will be two international events this week both on clay.

Given the recent success of Romanian's on the WTA tour, most notably Simona Halep's stunning rise up the WTA rankings last year a new tournament in the Romanian capital of Bucharest will be staged this week. No less than 8 Romanians will be competing at Bucharest this week including Simona Halep. Simona is the number 1 seed and will be the centre of attention this week, local fans will be hoping to see the world number three claim her second title of the season. Simona has had an awesome first half to season, starting off in Australia where she reached her first Grand Slam quarter-final before falling to eventual finalist Dominika Cibulkova. Simona captured her first premier title in Doha, defeating Agnieszka Radwanska and Angelique Kerber in the process. In Paris, Simona reached her first Grand Slam semi-final where she was defeated in a thrilling three set battle by Maria Sharapova. The ever-consistent Halep reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon but fell in straight sets to Eugenie Bouchard.

Apart from Simona there really isn't much to get excited about here, the draw is quite weak. Roberta Vinci, Klara Koukalova and Karin Knapp make up the rest of the top four seeds at the inaugural event.

Simona has actually been dealt a tricky first round match. The number 1 seed will face Kristina Mladenovic who defeated Simona in their only previous meeting earlier this year indoors in Paris. I suspect the result will be very different this time around but it certainly is a danger game for Simona. Apart from this there are a couple of other interesting first round matches including Vinci vs Dulgheru and Koukalova vs Niculsecu.

Simona has been vulnerable in events like this, however I'm sure she will be determined to play well in front of her home fans. I can't see any real threat to Simona in the draw. The number 2 seeded Roberta Vinci is having a horrible season having been knocked out in the opening round at each Grand Slam and is currently on a 5 match losing streak. It would be nice to see Roberta have a deep run here, she really should given the state of the draw. I think this is a great chance for promising youngster Anna Schmiedlova to come through the bottom section of the draw. The clay court specialist showed what she is capable off when she defeated Venus Williams at Roland Garros last month.

Predicted Chmapion: Simona Halep def. Anna Karolina Schmiedlova

First Round Match Predictions:

Lara Arruabarrena to defeat (5) Annika Beck in three sets, Veronica Cepede Royg to defeat Cagla Buyukakcay in straight sets, (3) Klara Koukalova to defeat Monica Niculescu in straight sets, (8) Polona Hercog to defeat Anna Tatishvili in straight sets, (6) Karolina Anna Schmiedlova to defeat Kristina Kucova in straight sets, (WC) Cristina Dinu to defeat Nadiya Kichenok in three sets, Katarzyna Piter to defeat (WC) Cristina-Andreea Mitu in three sets, (4) Karin Knapp to defeat (WC) Raluca Olaru in straight sets, (2) Roberta Vinci to defeat Alexandra Dulgheru in straight sets, Aleksandra Krunic to defeat Alexandra Panova in three sets, (1) Simona Halep to defeat Kristina Mladenovic in straight sets, (7) Petra Cetkovska to defeat Alexandra Cadantu in straight sets